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  • DATES FOR "GREATEST MINDS" ESSAYS
    • JOHN LITTLE
      Posted Nov 16, 2002 6:51 PM

      Dear Mr. Hoffman,

      Thank you for your query. The dates for the essays contained within "The Greatest Minds And Ideas Of All Time" (Simon and Schuster, (c)2002, John Little and the estate of Will Durant) are varied; all, however, were written by Dr. Durant prior to 1932 and appeared under many covers:

      "Twelve Vital Dates In World History" was first published as "The 12 Greatest Dates " in The Forum, LXXXIV (October, 1930), on pages 226-232.

      "The Ten Greatest Thinkers," was first published in The American Magazine, CIII (March, 1927), on pages 7-9, 103-104, 106, 108, 110. This essay was also included in Essays in Liberal Thought, edited by W.H. Thomas and Stewart S. Morgan, eds. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1928. This was also one of the topics in Dr. Durant's lectures that he made publically throughout his career and a variation of it was published as "The Ten Greatest Thinkers," in The Rotarian, XXCVI (February, 1955), on pages 38-39, and 90-93.

      "One Hundred Best Books " was first published in The American Magazine, CVIII (December, 1929), on pages 26-28, 109, 112, 115-116,118.

      "The Ten Greatest Poets" was originally published as "How to Widen Your World " in The American Magazine, CXI (March, 1931), on pages 42-43, 160-163.

      "Ten 'Peaks' Of Human Progress" was first published as
      "Ten Steps Up From The Jungle " in The Rotarian, LVIII (January, 1941),on pages 10-13,and 56. A substantial portion of it was later published under the title of "Is Progress a Delusion?" in Golden Book, XI, (March, 1930, on pages 59-63.

      Several of the essays, along with the First Chapter ("A Shameless Worship Of Heroes") were included in "Adventures In Genius" (Simon and Schuster, 1931) which has been out of print for several decades now.

      What is interesting to me is the timelessness -- both of the subjects covered and of the essays themselves. Durant's prose has never been better and his excitement for these great thinkers and artists is palpable.

      I hope this information helps and thanks again for your question.

      Yours sincerely,

      John Little

      The Will Durant Foundation



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